The Claire Fontaine Trail in Kouchibouguac National Park is a family friendly yet scenic looped trail which hugs the banks of Rankin Brook and Black River. No matter where you are on the trial, the water is always beside you because the trail skirts the small peninsula between the two rivers which then intersect in the Kouchibuguac Lagoon at the edge of the ocean. The peninsula itself is densely forested with a variety of trees and wildlife.
The trail is relatively flat with easy hiking which is great for the kids but can be muddy in some places – even during the middle of summer. Some boardwalks are strategically placed at the wettest areas but the trail is not groomed by any means and can get be quite rocky and rooty in some places. So be sure you are wearing durable footwear too.
As you stroll along the river’s edge, keep an eye out for kayakers or canoers who are making their way up and down the waterways or you may even spot them on the other side pulled up and relaxing on one the small sandy inlets found sporadically along the sandstone river banks.
At the tip of the peninsula, there is a nice view of the Lagoon, however, you may have to poke your way through some overgrown trees to get a good look. There are also a few small sandy “beachy” areas and benches where you can stop for a snack or little rest. If you are strategically placed on the Black River side of the trail you can get a view straight out to the sand dunes.
Although a relatively short trail of 3.3 kms, you really get a nice variety of scenes along the way.
The Claire Fontaine Trail is located in a more secluded section of Kouchibouguac National Park. It is located approximately 9.5 km north from the Park Visitor Centre on Highway 117 on the right hand side (small parking lot available). You can pick up a park map at the Visitor Centre near the south entrance to the park.
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